One of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is to have the camera lead the action, instead of following it. One of the basic rules of cinematography (a fancy word for a moving camera) is that the camera always follows, never leads. For example, if a character is leaving a scene, they should initiate the motion, and the camera should follow them. This is natural on a live action set, where the camera will naturally tend to follow the actor. But in animation, where we get nothing for free, these choices have to be made deliberately, and we need to be aware of the pitfalls.
Camera Always Follows, Never Leads
It's an easy mistake to make. Cinematography is an art in itself, and in order to create successful work, animators need to master the basics. Animators who have some experience of photography, and especially cinematography have an advantage here. The basic rule of 3D camerawork is not to do anything you wouldn't do on a live action set, with a real camera.
Rules of Cinematography
- Avoid jump cuts
- The 180 degree Rule - don't "cross the line"
- Avoiding "motion sickness camera"
- Don't "Break the 4th Wall"
- Understanding the "Magic Circle"